Ever since I can remember, “New Years Resolutions” have been a whole ordeal. Most of the time, people end up making the same ones year after year: “Come January 1st, I will eat healthier!” “I’m going to start going to the gym on January 1st!” “Dry January, here I come!” And so on and so forth. Gyms make bank off of New Years Resolutioners. Regular gym goers shift their schedules in order to avoid (or accommodate, depends on how empathic the person is but don’t be one of those complainers because you started somewhere once too) these people. I wouldn’t be surprised if Fast Food sales dropped in January. People use December as the last month to get everything out of their system. Eat all the cake, lay on all the couches, January is a new year.
Here’s the thing though. Only about 9% to 12% people end up keeping their resolutions. People use January 1st to make a drastic change in their life. They go from never going to the gym to telling themselves they’re going to go to the gym 7 days a week. They cut out carbs and sugar from their diets completely – or start a brand new diet altogether with no leeway. It becomes an “all or nothing” situation. Which is why people fail. I’ve been one of those people. I’ll tell myself “I will workout at least 6 times this week” and when life happens, I get upset with myself when I don’t get in all 6 (even if I get sick or hurt myself – put a pin in that, I’ll come back to it).
We create these (slightly) impossible high standards for ourselves and then kick ourselves when and if we fail. We listen to these influencers who tell us that these aren’t “impossible” standards, that you just simply are being weak (pls stop) and that if you had enough will power, you’d succeed (gross). Then, instead of saying, “Alright, I will go to the gym as much as I can this upcoming week, even if it’s just one day”, we say “Well, I already failed so I might as not go”. There goes that resolution. Maybe next year.
I know that it’s like, 2 weeks into 2023 already but I challenge you to change your mindset this year. You can keep whatever resolution you already set up, but give yourself some grace. Here’s some examples:
- If your resolution is to go to the gym/workout everyday – Change how you look at “working out”. Do you only have the energy for a 20 minute stretching session? That’s a workout. Can you take your dog on a 10 minute walk? Workout. A workout doesn’t have to mean that you go super hard, every single day. Getting up and moving around everyday counts. Somedays you’ll have more energy than others. Somedays you’ll not feel great. Somedays you’ll be slammed with work and other responsibilities. Give. Yourself. Some. Grace.
- If your resolution is to eat healthier – Take the time to understand what “healthy” means to you, in terms of food. I am not at all a fan of “this food is bad” because no food is good or bad. Take all the different diets for example: Keto tells you not to eat carbs, even if it’s fruit but you can smother everything in cheese. Paleo tells you not to eat any beans but fill yourself with red meat. Everyone has a different opinion and only you know your body. For me, eating “healthy” means that I can get Taco Bell every once in a while and not beat myself up about it. It’s food. You’re not lighting an orphanage on fire. Stop saying it’s “bad”.
- If your resolution is to read more – Set a reasonable goal. If you’re someone who read 2 books in 2022, you’re likely not going to magically read 50 books in 2023. When I got back into excessive reading in 2021, I actually started my goal at 20 books (I had read 12 in 2020, not including my re-read of Harry Potter). I slammed through my goal and got to 50 books! Which was super cool but very unexpected. I also highly recommend signing up for Goodreads so you can find books that you’re interested in. It has a “Reading Challenge” that you can sign up for (all for free). My other tip is to search around for what you love. There are so many different types of books out there in the world, I’m sure you’ll find your niche!
- If your resolution is to save money – Create an excel sheet and literally write down everything you spend money on. Once you have a full month, figure out where you might be able to cut down. Things like “subscriptions” really eat up money and since they’re automatically paid, it’s easy to forget about them. We found that once we started going to Grocery Outlet first, before another grocery store, we started saving at least $200 a month! That was easier to see with everything written out. Research gas stations around you – which is the cheapest? Find recipes online that are cheap and easy leftovers. Oh yeah, actually eat your leftovers (or freeze them for later). You don’t have to never leave your house to save money.
- If your resolution is to spend less time on your phone – Set up specific times when you don’t want to have your phone. For example: put it in a drawer away from your bed so you’re not on it first thing in the morning and last thing at night [extra tip here: create a new bedtime routine – I started reading a little before bed instead]. Or maybe designate 6pm to 8pm as a no phone time. Give yourself a plan and try to stick to it.
- If your resolution is to lose weight – I wasn’t going to add this on my list. Because this is a HEAVY HEAVY thing to discuss. This was my resolution for YEARS. It is what kickstarted my calorie counting and now I can’t even look at a banana without thinking “that’s 105 calories” and being uncomfortable with going over 1,000 calories in a day (which is the lowest daily suggestion for a toddler). If this is your resolution, please take the time to understand why. And perhaps update your resolution to working out or eating “healthier”. Two things that you can do without hyper-fixating on your weight. Besides, take it from someone who’s done this many times: When do you actually hit your goal weight? Because I have. And then it wasn’t enough. I needed to be skinnier. It’s a cycle that doesn’t end. It’s a symptom to a deeper problem. Hating the body you’re in is not a fantastic start to changing the body that you’re in. Read that again.
As for me? My New Years Resolution for 2023 is to set more boundaries. I’ve never been great with setting boundaries (I blame my Catholic Guilt of having to be a “Good Girl” but that’s an entirely different conversation) and it really shows. I people please so hard that I end up exhausted, unhappy, and frustrated. I sign onto work “just to check in” and before I know it, it’s over an hour later. I’ll make multiple plans on the same day because I don’t want to upset anyone. I will tell myself that I’m going to go to barre at least 6 times this week and ride my Peloton just as much… And then I cancel a barre class because I had a frustrating work day and I tell myself that I’m never going to be in shape. I know I’m going to have times when I over extend myself – that’s just the person that I am. So I’ll be giving myself grace and simply reminding myself to take it slow and remember that I can’t help others if I don’t help myself. I want to create morning routines that help me start the day slowly and intentionally. And when I don’t, I won’t. And I won’t dwell on it. Every second is another chance.
What is your 2023 New Years Resolution(s)? Do you have any tips on how to keep a resolution? Or, are you anti-New Years Resolutions? Let me know below!